Chris Fields, the Fifth District Republican challenger to incumbent Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), took to the Star Tribune opinion section to criticize Ellison's focus on North Minneapolis.
In the commentary piece, posted Sunday, Fields argues that Ellison has continually ignored the area, especially in the aftermath of last May's tornado:
A continual lack of focus by U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, a Democrat representing the Fifth District, led to a failure in making the case for the North Side in Washington. Who else is there to make the case? Instead, Ellison focuses on issues in the Middle East concerning Palestinians, Syrians and Egyptians. They are not the 99 percent of constituents, are they?
Fields says there were issues in the area before the tornado, too:
Even before the tornado, there were massive signs of decay on the North Side, and in other parts of the city as well. While I live in Minneapolis, my home is not in the North Side.
But I was raised in New York's South Bronx in the early 1970s, when the place looked like a war zone. Street violence ruled, and politicians busy with their own, self-focused agendas ignored block after block of crumbling, empty and decaying buildings hijacked with crime and infested with drugs.
I know what it's like to live in a community that has been written off. I know, firsthand, what urban decay does to the aspirations of a child. And I understand where it all inevitably leads when we do not have leaders focused on our own community.
Ellison Challenges Filibuster
Ellison has joined grassroots group Common Cause in filing a lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of the filibuster in the U.S. Senate.
"There's a saying in the U.S. House of Representatives that the enemy isn't Republicans or Democrats, it's the Senate," Ellison told MPR.
Over the years, House members from both parties have complained about the filibuster, which can set a 60-vote threshold to end debate.
"These rules are not in the Constitution and they frustrate the will of the American people," Ellison added.
Still, the lawsuit faces a tough battle, MPR notes. The Constitution does allow the House and Senate to establish their own rules.